There is Intervention and then there is Effective Intervention: or, Is just doing something better than doing nothing?

Many people have been captivated by the A&E Series, Intervention. Quite a bit of drama happening there and, as we are discovering about many of these “Reality” TV shows, some if not much of what is seen is contrived and edited in the interest of viewership. Guess what, it really doesn’t happen that way and what you see is really not effective in the vast majority of cases.

Having been around the block on interventions, I have seen newer, more effective methods developed. In the treatment field it is interesting that, without any empirical research, the “Traditional” intervention of getting a bunch of concerned others together to lovingly confront the individual with an ultimatum to go to treatment (usually residential) or else is still around and being promoted as an effective method of getting someone engaged in treatment. It is so media popular that I recently got an unsolicited invitation to attend a training to become a “Certified Interventionist”. I am a curious individual so; I emailed the sponsors asking for the research on their methodology as it relates to getting people engaged in treatment. This is the response I got: “Although ________’s clinical team evaluated and approved (their program) it didn't result in research, per se. We are primarily practitioners and teachers. I'm not enthusiastic about research that's done internally by the developers of various techniques, even when the research methods meet peer reviewed standards. That kind of research is widely accepted and forms the basis of most "evidence-based" practices, but I find it unconvincing.”

Be assured that we, at Recovery Café, are convinced by the research or, the lack of it. At Recovery Café, we offer both individual and group support for individuals in relationship with another who is misusing or possibly dependent or addicted to alcohol or some other drug. We are trained in and use the evidence based method of intervention known as CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Treatment). CRAFT is the foundation of the book: Getting Your Loved One Sober: Alternatives to Nagging, Pleading and Threatening, by Robert J. Meyers, PhD and Brenda L. Wolfe, PhD and was featured on the HBO series on Addiction (see video clip of Bob Meyers).

If you are living in or affected by another substance abuse and are ready to begin thinking about what you can do to differently that will be effective for you and them, give us a call and talk to our intake coordinator or one of the CRAFT counselors.

Author: Larry Walton